Adams Point WMA, Durham

Birds of Interest

The estuary is part of the North Atlantic flyway and 20 species of waterfowl, 27 species of shorebirds, and 13 species of wading birds use the bay as a wintering area or migratory stopover. Winter waterfowl counts at Great Bay average 5,000 birds annually, with black ducks being the most prominent species. Over 80 percent of all waterfowl that winter in New Hampshire’s coastal areas are found in Great Bay. Home to several endangered and threatened bird species, the Bay also supports a large winter population of bald eagles.

About this Location

Adams Point juts out from the west into Great Bay, New Hampshire’s second-largest estuarine system. Fed by the tidal waters of the Piscataqua River that forms the boundary between Maine and New Hampshire, the estuary offers a variety of diverse habitats including eelgrass beds, mudflats, salt marsh, rocky intertidal zones, and upland forest and fields.

Waterfowl hunting and shellfishing are still popular at Adams Point WMA. Adams Point is also one of the best bird watching locations in Great Bay and is ideal for viewing bald eagles. Trails lead around the point and offer excellent views of the Bay. A universally accessible platform is located near the main parking area. Adams Point is also home to the University of New Hampshire’s Jackson Estuarine Lab.

Adam’s Point is located at the end of Adam’s Point Road in Durham, 1.0 miles from Bay Road. From the junction of NH-108 and NH-152 in downtown Newmarket, go north 0.3 miles just past the bridge over the Lamprey River, and turn right on Bay Road. Follow for 4.0 miles to Adams Point Road, which is unmarked, but there is a sign for the Jackson Estuarine Lab.

From the junction of US-4 and NH-108 north of Durham, follow NH-108 south for 1.1 miles to Durham Point Road, and turn left. Follow that road, which changes its name to Bay Road somewhere along the route for 3.8 miles to Adams Point Road.

The University of New Hampshire’s Jackson Estuarine Lab is located at the end of the road, along with a small dirt parking area and a series of trails for exploring the bay and nearby habitats. A trail map is available from the Town of Durham.

This is a location from which to scan the bay for waterfowl (Canada Goose by the hundreds in fall and winter and Mute Swans, in particular), Bald Eagles, and other species. Watch for Eastern Bluebirds and other land birds along the trails. Pileated Woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch may be found along the road to the point.

The boat launch on Adams Point Road, 0.8 mile from Bay Road, is also worth a stop to scan Little Bay to the north and the small pans and marsh to the south.

Notable Trails

The AllTrails website has a description and map of a hike at Adams Point.

Content from Adams Point Wildlife Management Area webpage